PCG Vessel Drives Away China Warship Off Palawan
The Philippine Coast Guard said the Chinese Navy Warship 189, bearing the flag of China and with Chinese markings, was found near Marie Louise Bank on July 13. The bank is located some 147 nautical miles off the coast of El Nido in Palawan.
A patrol vessel of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) recently shooed away a Chinese Navy warship found near Marie Louise Bank in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
In a statement, PCG spokesman Commodore Armand Balilo said Chinese Navy Warship 189, bearing the flag of China and with Chinese markings, was found near Marie Louise Bank on July 13. The bank is located some 147 nautical miles off the coast of El Nido in Palawan.
The PCG’s BRP Cabra issued a radio challenge to the foreign vessel and monitored its movements via radio. It also approached the Chinese ship to better view its activities in Philippine waters.
But when the Chinese vessel did not give any response, BRP Cabra’s Commander Erwin Tolentino used a different method to issue a verbal challenge – the Long Range Acoustic Device.
It was only at this juncture that the foreign vessel started moving out of Marie Louise Bank.
The Coast Guard ship followed the Chinese navy ship as it retreated, making sure that it left the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
When the foreign ship saw that the BRP Cabra was moving closer, around 500 to 600 yards (0.25 to 0.30 nautical miles), the Chinese ship sent a radio message: “Philippine Coast Guard 4409, this is Chinese Navy Warship 189. Please keep two nautical miles distance from me.”
The PCG said BRP Cabra’s mission under Task Force Pagsasanay is to conduct maritime patrols along Marie Louise Bank and the Kalayaan Island Group.
It applied the “Rules on the Use of Force” in dealing with the Chinese vessel until such time it finally left the bank at a speed of 9.4 knots.
All of BRP Cabra’s actions were based on the PCG’s Manual on Rules on the Use of Force Within the Philippines’ EEZ. This is to ensure that the rules and peaceful approach are being followed in upholding the sovereignty of the country and protecting its waters.
The Chinese Navy warship was not the first foreign vessel encountered by the Coast Guard vessel in performing its task to conduct maritime patrols.
Last June 30, the BRP Cabra succeeded in dispersing five Chinese ships and two Vietnamese vessels found near Marie Louise Bank.
During its patrols, the officers and crew of BRP Cabra also checked on the Filipino fishermen engaged in fishing activities in the area.
The Task Force Pagsasanay was launched by PCG commandant Admiral George Ursabia Jr. last April 6.
Malacañang, meanwhile, lauded the PCG for challenging the Chinese ships in the WPS. “Congratulations to our brave PCG. I’m sure in due course, you will be given the proper recognition that you deserve. We salute you,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a press briefing on Monday.
On June 30, the PCG said BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409) also drove way five Chinese ships and a two Vietnamese vessels that were also monited in Marie Louise Bank.
The PCG personnel on board BRP Cabra also asked Filipino fishermen on board F/B XIROXIRA from San Jose, Occidental Mindoro about their condition and were told that their fishing operations at Marie Louise Bank continue.The PC GH said the fishermen’s operations were peaceful and abundant, and that they had not experienced abuses or harassment from other ships. – With Alexis Romero